What happens in the brain when we read?

To vocalize a written word, the information from the visual stimulus passes from the visual cortex in the occipital lobes to the angular gyrus.  The angular gyrus associates the visual stimulus with the auditory form processed in Wernicke’s area.  From this point the process is the same as speaking a heard word.  From Wernicke’s area, the stimulus is sent to Broca’s area to be coded, sequenced, and transmitted to the motor region for output as speech.

To repeat a word, the stimulus moves from the primary auditory area to Wernicke’s area.  From thee it is transmitted through a set of nerve fibers called the arcuate fasciculus, to Broca’s area, an integrative region in the frontal lobes in which information is coded, sequenced, and transmitted to the motor region for output as speech.

In order to read, your brain has to do a lot of things at once.  It has to connect letters with sounds and then put those sounds together in the right order.  Then, you have to be able to put letters, words, and paragraphs together in ways that let you read them quickly, in a fluid manner, and in a way in which you can understand it as well.  Your brain has to connect words with sentences with other kinds of knowledge.